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Leonardo DiCaprio and 10 other actors who should have an Oscar

Posted in TOP FIVES with tags , on February 27, 2016 by Ross McG

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‘And the Oscar goes to… Leonardo DiCaprio!’

You can expect to hear those words echo around the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood this Sunday, as, after years of waiting, Leo finally gets his hands on an Oscar.

DiCaprio is a hot favourite to pick up Best Actor for his performance in The Revenant, in which he writhes around in the mud a lot and gets a little too cuddly with a bear.

It’s somewhat strange that DiCaprio will (likely) win his Oscar for a role which requires him for long stretches to simply lie in a stretcher. All of his great previous performances, whether it’s proclaiming himself ‘king of the world’ in Titanic or snorting copious amounts of drugs in The Wolf of Wall Street, have been kinetic and dynamic. In The Revenant, he does most of his acting with his eyelids.

THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED ON METRO.CO.UK

DiCaprio is set to be crowned after missing out on an acting Oscar on four previous occasions, for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, The Aviator, Blood Diamond and The Wolf of Wall Street.

It’s looking like fifth time lucky for Leo, but until Sunday night at least, he’s not the only great actor out there who has yet to win an Oscar.

You won’t believe that none of this lot have been honoured by the Academy.

1. Tom Cruise

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The current incarnation of The Cruiser is known for strapping himself to planes and scaling the world’s tallest buildings, but his action man tendencies hide some huge acting chops.

Cruise has come close to Oscar glory with three nominations, each telling its own story. You can’t argue with his performance in Born on the Fourth of July losing out to Daniel Day-Lewis’s in My Left Foot at the 1990 ceremony, but he really should have pipped Geoffrey Rush in the almost forgotten Shine with his brilliant meltdowns in 1996’s Jerry Maguire.

And don’t get me started on Cruise losing out on Best Supporting Actor in 2000 after his amazing work in Magnolia (‘RESPECT THE COCK’) was pipped by Michael Caine’s awful New England accent in sentimental tosh The Cider House Rules.

2. Keira Knightley

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I don’t get the backlash against Knightley and I never will. ‘Oh, she’s always in period dramas!’ her detractors cry, a bit like shouting ‘Oh, you’re always cutting inside from the wing and shooting!’ at Cristiano Ronaldo.

In the early part of her career, Knightley was great in costume dramas – so what if she played to her strengths?

She’s been nominated twice for Oscars – for Best Supporting Actress last year in The Imitation Game (sorry, Cumberbatchers, she was the best thing in it) and for her wonderful turn as Lizzy Bennett in 2005’s Pride & Prejudice.

But it’s her work in The Duchess, Begin Again and the astounding – and astoundingly overlooked – Never Let Me Go that stands out. She’ll get her Oscar soon.

3. Harrison Ford

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How do you get nominated for an Oscar when the world knows you as not one but two movie icons; Indiana Jones and Han Solo?

Well, Harrison Ford managed it with what is probably the best performance of his career – as John Book, the cop among the Amish in Witness (1985). At that point in his career, Ford thought he was done with Solo and wanted to pursue more challenging roles.

This saw a terrific run of late ’80s movies that saw him in The Mosquito Coast, Frantic and Working Girl. He was also terrific in Air Force One and Patriot Games, but political action movies don’t really attract Oscar attention.

In an ideal world, the Oscars would ditch their stuffiness and reward performances that change the course of film history. Ford could have been nominated for his turns in both Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade, mainly because he just WAS Indiana Jones.

4. Winona Ryder

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Ryder has a Golden Globe, but – PAH! – who wants one of those? If Hollywood stars keep their Oscar statuettes in their bathrooms, you can guess where they flush their Golden Globes.

Nominated at the Academy Awards in 1994 for Best Supporting Actress (The Age of Innocence) and Best Actress (Little Women) the following year, Ryder probably should have had nods for Edward Scissorhands, The Crucible, Heathers and Black Swan.

But not Alien: Resurrection though, no way.

5. Samuel L Jackson

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When he’s not SHOUTING REALLY LOUDLY, Samuel L Jackson is a damn fine actor. HELL, HE’S A DAMN FINE ACTOR WHEN HE’S SHOUTING TOO!

Cruelly overlooked in his one Best Supporting Actor Oscar nod for Pulp Fiction, Jackson could easily have been nominated for more of his collaborations with Quentin Tarantino. He was sensational in Jackie Brown and absolutely magnetic amid the bloodbath in this year’s The Hateful Eight.

It would be worth giving him an Oscar just to hear his speech.

6. Jessica Chastain

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Jessica plays it cool until her Oscar arrives (Picture: Columbia)

There was a period between 2011 and 2012 in which Jessica Chastain was in every film ever made, which was understandable given she was the best new actress on the block.

Nominated twice for The Help and Zero Dark Thirty, her name in a cast list is always a mark of quality.

Even her non-Oscar chasing stuff excites – check out gripping horror Mama.

7. John Malkovich

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He was in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which is perhaps the only reason the Academy haven’t given John Malkovich his Oscar.

Two nominations is unworthy of an actor of his talent. He wasn’t even shortlisted for his stunning work in Dangerous Liaisons (1988), a crime in itself, but not to be nominated for his role as himself and various versions of himself in the bonkers Being John Malkovich (1999) was nothing short of a travesty.

If I had my way, he would also have been recognised with a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his sterling work as Cyrus ‘The Virus’ Grissom in Con Air, but I can sort of understand why the Academy chose to overlook it.

8. Glenn Close

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Malkovich’s co-star in Dangerous Liaisons did receive a nomination for Best Actress, but was unlucky to come against Jodie Foster in The Accused.

That is just one of six nominations which have failed to materialise into a statuette for Close, so quit your whining, Leo.

When nominated for her bunny-boiling in Fatal Attraction a year before Dangerous Liaisons, she lost out to Cher, back in a time when Cher was a serious actress – and a good one.

9. Brian Cox

cox

Not only has Brian Cox never won an Oscar, he’s never even been nominated for one, remarkable when you consider he is in every film released between 1994 and 2015.

But just because he’s prolific doesn’t mean he’s not fantastic.

Cox’s brilliance stretches all the way back to 1986 and Manhunter, in which he played the original Hannibal ‘Lecktor’, and runs right up to 2008 prison drama The Escapist, which gives him a rare and deserved starring role.

With his output of two films per week, he’s bound to bag an Oscar soon.

10. Amy Adams

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Leo is also out-nommed by Amy Adams, quickly turning into the Meryl Streep of her generation. Unlike Meryl, however, Adams doesn’t have an Oscar.

What’s often forgotten about Streep is that despite winning two Oscars from her first four nominations, for Kramer vs Kramer and Sophie’s Choice, she then went on a 12-nod losing streak that was finally broken by 2012’s The Iron Lady. Three wins from 19 nominations isn’t that great a haul, bizarrely.

Anyway, that’s what could be ahead of Adams if she keeps up her success rate, following nominations for Junebug, Doubt, The Fighter, The Master and American Hustle.

It’s surely only a matter of time before she’s taking home an Oscar statuette.

The best and worst Bond villains from 23 movies

Posted in TOP FIVES with tags on December 5, 2014 by Ross McG

blofeld

We got some new Bond villains this week. Details of the next Bond movie – Bond 24 – were officially announced.

The film, which will hit cinemas next year, is called Spectre and will feature Daniel Craig as James Bond for the fourth time.

He will be joined by new cast members Christoph Waltz as Oberhauser; Monica Bellucci as Lucia Sciarra; Léa Seydoux as Madeleine Swann; Dave Bautista as Mr Hinx and Andrew Scott as Denbigh.

Waltz’s character is rumoured to be something of a ruse: he is expected to be the next Blofeld in Spectre.

Getting Bond villains right is a tricky science. If one element is just slightly out of place, you end up with a turkey – but get it right and you have Bond gold.

Here is the list of the worst and best Bond villains across the 23 movies in the series so far. Let’s start with the worst…

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David Fincher’s movies ranked from 1 to 9

Posted in TOP FIVES with tags on October 1, 2014 by Ross McG

Fight Club (1999) Edward Norton and Brad Pitt (Screengrab)

David Fincher’s new film, Gone Girl, an adaptation of the bestseller by Gillian Flynn, who also wrote the script for the movie, is out this week.

In a few years, it will be interesting to see where Gone Girl sits in Fincher’s body of work. Because in his case, it takes a few years and plenty of sittings to digest his films.

Some of them – most notably Fight Club – have been famously written off on release, only for critics to change their minds further down the watching road.

Film critics, eh? They haven’t a bloody clue.

Bloody clues are what Fincher’s movies are all about, and Gone Girl is no different. But what is the director’s best work to date? Begin the countdown.

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Jaws, The Monkees and Happy Gilmore: Richard Kiel’s best movie moments

Posted in TOP FIVES with tags on September 11, 2014 by Ross McG

jawsrichardkiel

Richard Kiel, best known as the Bond villain Jaws, had died at the age of 74.

He will be remembered chiefly for sinking those steel teeth into anything that got in his way in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, giving Roger Moore’s 007 plenty to chew on.

Kiel made the most of his fame after his two James Bond adventures, riffing on his role as Jaws in a series of movies that followed.

Before Bond, he appeared in a number of US TV shows, including The Twilight Zone, Starsky & Hutch, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Lassie.

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Spared no expense… Richard Attenborough’s best bits from Jurassic Park

Posted in TOP FIVES with tags , on August 26, 2014 by Ross McG

attenborough

Sadly, Sir Richard Attenborough is no longer with us.

Moviegoers of various ages will have different memories of ‘Dickie’, both of his work behind the camera on films like Oh! What a Lovely War, Gandhi, Cry Freedom, Chaplin and Shadowlands, and his performances in front of it in Brighton Rock, The Great Escape, 10 Rillington Place and Miracle on 34th Street.

But for many film fans, Attenborough will always be John Hammond, the man who brought dinosaurs back to life in Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster Jurassic Park.

In Michael Crichton’s novel, Hammond is a bit of a nasty piece of work, whose main incentive from recreating dinos is to make a bit of cash. He also meets a bit of a sticky end. But in the movie, because he is played by loveable Attenborough, Hammond is more of a misguided figure, albeit one still obsessed with money (‘Spared no expense!’).

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The best orgasm scenes in movies

Posted in TOP FIVES with tags , , on July 31, 2014 by Ross McG

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Today is National Orgasm Day. Of course it is. It’s right up there with St Patrick’s Day and No Pants Day as one of the worst holidays ever.

What’s that? It isn’t a holiday? We don’t get the day off? Screw that. Uh… precisely.

Some people think cinema was invented (by Steven Spielberg or James Cameron – I always forget which one it was) to show us the beauty and sadness of life, to take us to new worlds, to fire our imagination. Rubbish.

Movies came, ahem, along to do one thing: depict lots of actors and actresses showing us their O face.

In honour of National Orgasm Day then, here are the best and worst orgasm scenes in cinema.

THE WORST:

Okay, let’s start with the drivel before we get on to the good, uh, stuff. And with most lists of terrible things, it begins with The Ugly Truth. Take it away Katherine Heigl… and take away my ability to forget about this awful, awful movie.

Don’t worry, we’re only going to subject you to one more bad orgasm scene. Amy Adams is a terrific actress. But she has one major blot in her copybook: Cruel Intentions 2: Cruels Control. Okay, so I made the ‘Cruels Control’ bit up, but it’s still terrible. And it has a terrible orgasm scene, in which Adams teaches her protégé the correct way to ride (sorry!) a horse.

 

AND NOW THE BEST ORGASM SCENES:

10. American Pie (1999)

The original has been so undermined by its 200 terrible sequels and spin-offs that it’s easy to forget just how good – and sweetly innocent – the first American Pie movie is – like The Inbetweeners for US yoofs before The Inbetweeners existed. Its signature scene shows just how good an actor Jason Biggs is – he only ever needs two takes.

 

9. Barbarella (1968)

Jane Fonda proves that machine is no match for woman in this quite literally steamy scene from the 60s sci-fi classic.

 

8. Bruce Almighty (2003)

If you woke up one day and realised you were God, wouldn’t you give your girlfriend an orgasm through a wall just by moving your hands? Seems only polite. Jennifer Aniston obviously took some notes from her former flatmate Courtney Cox when it comes (sorry! Again!) to carnal pleasures. Ugh.. I used the word ‘carnal’ – gross.

 

7. There’s Something About Mary (1998)

Yes there is, and there’s something hanging from Ben Stiller’s ear that he’s not aware of. As if women actually use hair gel…

 

6. Private Parts (1997)

The movie of shock jock Howard Stern’s life isn’t really that shocking, but it does contain a pretty memorable on-air-radio/at-home-with-vibrating-speaker orgasm scene. Couldn’t do that these days with Spotify.

 

5. Pleasantville (1998)

You probably know Joan Allen best for chasing Jason Bourne, but here she makes a splash in more ways than one during a bath in Gary Ross’s underrated comedy drama. This orgasm is so good it turns black-and-white into colour, a feat previously achieved only by The Wizard of Oz. No magic wand jokes!

 

4. Amélie (2001)

Audrey Tautou pervs over Paris. ‘Quinze!’ Brilliant.

 

3. A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

If only more Oscars were handed out for performances in comedies. Kevin Kline is brilliant as crazy Otto in A Fish Called Wanda, even when he’s having sex. Don’t call him Stupid.

 

2. Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997)

Not a real orgasm, but a great one, as Romy (Mira Sorvino) does some amateur acting to procure a car. ‘Oh Rrrrrrramone… You are Columbus and I am America – discover me!’ Talking dirty has never sounded so funny.

 

1. When Harry Met Sally (1989)

YES! YES! YES! More orgasm fakery now, and who other than Meg Ryan could top this list? Sally Albright is the one person you don’t want to be sat near in a restaurant… or maybe you do? We’ll have what she’s having.

From Mean Streets to 22 Jump Street… The top 10 streets in cinema

Posted in TOP FIVES with tags on June 6, 2014 by Ross McG

22jumpstreet

Fans of dumb action comedy get to pull into 22 Jump Street this week.

The sequel to the admittedly fun 21 Jump Street, a reboot of the old Richard Grieco TV cop show (yeah, some guy called Johnny Depp was in it too), sees lunkhead police officers Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, in the words of the immortal Ice Cube in the trailer…. ‘goin’ ta COLLEGE!’

But how does Jump Street compare to some of the better known avenues in cinema?

10. Street Fighter (1994)

Back in the early 90s, I remember reading an article in a video games magazine that said Tom Cruise would be playing Ryu and Dana Carvey (Garth from Wayne’s World) would be playing Ken in the upcoming Street Fighter movie. As Heath Ledger’s Joker might ask… what happened? I’ll tell you what happened: the worst video game movie adaptation ever. Yes, give me Super Mario Bros any day.

9. Green Street (2005)

Okay, so it’s got Elijah Wood beating people up in between West Ham United games, but Green Street isn’t quite as bad as it should have been. Conveniently titled Green Street Hooligans in the US (must be big business from would-be tough guys Googling ‘hooligans movies’), there are actually two sequels to this.

8. Street Kings (2008)

If you don’t buy Frodo acting tough, you may not be convinced by Keanu Reeves doing likewise in David Ayer’s underrated LA crime thriller

7. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

London’s most journalistic avenue – until all the newspapers moved out – was also famous for haircuts and pies. Nice to see Johnny Depp in a Tim Burton film though – would love to see those two collaborate again.

6. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

In the past two years, Jonah Hill has starred in three movies with ‘street’ in the title. And here he is in the most famous financial thoroughfare of them all. Wall Street guys are bad, Scorsese tells us. For four hours.

5. Mean Streets (1973)

Marty was on much firmer ground 40 years earlier, depicting the most Rolling Stoniest streets around.

4. Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

Richard Attenborough and the little girl from Mrs Doubtfire bring some Christmas magic to this famous New York address.

3. Wall Street (1987)

The street that is paved with gold… and slimeballs with gigantic mobile phones. And smug Charlie Sheen. Anyone else rooting for Gekko?

2. Streets of Fire (1984)

A box office bomb but a cult classic, Walter Hill’s follow-up to 48 Hrs has Diane Lane singing in the brilliantly named Ellen Aim and the Attackers and Willem Dafoe playing the Green Goblin 18 years before he was actually asked to play the Green Goblin. Marvellous 80s fare.

1. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Johnny Depp is back on another street! But this is the street where it all began – and ended – for him… Elm. Matching Hill’s strike rate of three ‘street’ movies (Depp pops up in the 21 Jump Street reboot) here in genuinely gruesome style, he offers proof that falling asleep in your bedroom is bad for you.

‘It’s beautiful, man!’ The many on-screen deaths of Tom Cruise

Posted in TOP FIVES with tags on May 28, 2014 by Ross McG

cruiseedge

I’ll be honest with you. I love his movies. I do. I’m a Tom Cruise fan. I celebrate the guy’s entire catalogue.

Even the movies where his character dies.

There’s this assumption that A-list movie stars won’t allow themselves to die on screen, but it’s a load of bunkum. Death is a good career move – just look at Leonardo DiCaprio, he dies in everything, from (400-year-old spoiler alert) Romeo + Juliet to (100-year-old spoiler alert) The Great Gatsby.

While Tom Cruise may not be able to match Leo’s death rate, his characters still have a slight tendency to kick the bucket. His new movie, however, Edge of Tomorrow, takes this to extremes – it’s Groundhog Day meets Source Code as The Cruiser’s character dies and dies again in order to learn from his mistakes and save the world.

But what about his previous on-screen demises? Here they are… and some of them might surprise you.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD. WELL… D’UH.

1. Taps (1981)

Type in ‘Taps’ to Google these days and you get a lot of suggestions for bathroom furnishing, but back in the early ’80s it was the movie that give Cruise his big break and his first on-screen clogs-popping. He wasn’t the lead in this tale of military cadets striking back against the establishment, but his character’s death – shot down in a blaze of glory by tank fire – is still the film’s most memorable and quotable scene. Beautiful, man.

2. Far and Away (1992)

You have to wait more than a decade for Cruise to konk out a second time, in Ron Howard’s dreadful paen to Oirish immigration to the US of A. Far and Away is dreadful, and Cruise has a dreadful death scene, made all the more bloody dreadful because he comes back to life seconds after Nicole Kidman tells him she loved him all along. ‘You can be sure I won’t be dying twice,’ says Tom, leaving out a few ‘to be sure, to be sure’s, I’m sure. You can be sure I won’t be watching this dirge twice.

3. Interview with the Vampire (1994)

Neil Jordan’s adaptation of the bestselling novel by Anne ‘Tom Cruise is too short to play my vampire – oh no, hang on, he’s perfect’ Rice shows its age in parts these days, but it’s still a cracking watch, with a toothsome performance from Cruise, sinking his spiky gnashers into just the right amount of ham. Okay, so his Lestat isn’t technically vanquished in the movie, but he is bled dry after having his throat cut by Kirsten Dunst’s little vampire. And then he is set on fire. Mind you, Lestat is of course dead for the whole proceedings, being a bloody vampire and all.

4. Mission: Impossible II (2000)

Hang on! When does Tom Cruise die in the second Mission: Impossible movie? How come there’s two more movies with him in it after this? Good question, inner voice. Although it’s easy to forget that Ethan Hunt gets bumped off amongst all the misdirected Woo. Yes, yes, he’s not actually killed, but the guy wearing his face as a mask is, much to the chagrin of Dougray Scott, who should have been paying attention given there are exactly 19 face-changing scenes in this awful, awful, awful but intermittently awfully fun movie.

5. Vanilla Sky (2001)

Cameron Crowe’s pretty good and pretty mindbending remake of the superior Spanish flick, Abre los ojos, cast Cruise as multi-millionaire man-child David Aames, who is so busy spending all his dosh that he doesn’t notice that he is actually dead, having given himself a drugs overdose after a car crash and a bad time in a nightclub. That’s what happens when life is but a dream. The line, ‘Somebody died… it was me’, remains a great one.

SIDE NOTE: According to MovieBodyCounts.com, there are no fewer than 558 deaths in The Last Samurai (2003). Cruise’s character is not one of them. Un. Be. Liev. Able.

6. Collateral (2004)

Cruise stepped into the bad guy’s role for Michael Mann’s taxi-based LA thriller, and what happens to bad guys? That’s right: they croak it. The death of the bad guy in question, Vincent, is given extra poignancy by the fact that he foreshadowed his demise early in the action, talking about someone else who died on public transport while no one noticed. Like all cool bad guys, Vincent doesn’t die until about two minutes after he gets shot.

7. Mission: Impossible III (2006)

JJ Abrams is obviously a Far and Away fan. Yep, Cruise gets brought back to life by his female love interest again, this time after Philip Seymour Hoffman sets off a charge in his head. Nothing a good thump to the chest won’t fix.

8. Valkyrie (2008)

If you knew your Second World War history, you knew the ending to this one already. Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (Cruise) is killed by a firing squad after his plot to kill Adolf Hitler doesn’t go according to plan.

9. Oblivion (2013)

Before he ‘dies like 200 times’ in Edge of Tomorrow, in the words of the film’s director, Doug Liman, Cruise got some sci-fi die-fi practice in during his last outing, Oblivion. It’s a visually stunning, beautifully scored piece of work, and while it pilfers from plenty of classics of the genre, it does so with a blatant abandon that is actually quite sweet. It’s definitely worth an extra watch or two, if only to figure out The Cruiser’s death pattern in it. For starters, it turns out he’s playing a clone, so his original is long dead. On top of that, the main Clone Cruise we follow during Oblivion blows himself up at the end of the film to save humanity. Or clone-anity. Or something. It sounds remarkably crap, doesn’t it? Well, it isn’t. It’s dead good. And Cruise is a dead good actor at dying on screen. He always has been. Apart from in Far and Away.

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